Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Food and Its Impact on Cancer

By Guest blogger: Leroy Templeton.

Changing diets is usually what someone does when they want to lose weight or fit into that old dress or maybe even something as noble lowering chances of heart disease. While none of those are necessarily bad motives, they do tend to neglect some of the bigger more pressing reasons to eat right. As scientist and researchers are discovering more and more information on dieting and food intake, we are beginning to learn one very important truth: what you eat plays a huge role in whether or not you will get cancer.
Among the leading causes of death in the country (alongside heart disease, another issue caused by diet), cancer likelihood can be either reduced or increased depending on one’s diet. Studies show that the best foods for limiting cancer and cancer development are those foods which are most natural. Organic foods and foods that do not have unnatural additives are best. This is because the chemicals used to treat food often have carcinogens which can get in the body and disrupt the cell division process. When this happens it leaves the body open to a number of different cancers including gastric cancer and pleural mesothelioma.  Limiting red meat is also essential because red meat carries with it a high percentage of animal fat. This animal fat has been shown to promote colon cancer. If you can, try replacing red meats with lean white meats, fish and poultry.
          As for the foods that will help fight cancer, you can never go wrong with a diet rich in natural fruits and vegetables. These foods regulate the body so that toxins spend less time in the body and contain a high amount of vitamins that can strengthen the immune system. Antioxidants and flavonoids, found in many bitter foods such as coffee and dark chocolate, also help fight cancer through detoxification.
          Improving diet is one of the more important things you do. Not only will it improve your life’s quality, but you will also increase its length. Diet can either help you by reducing your chance for cancer, or hurt you by increasing it. I hope you make the choice to have it help you.
Leroy Templeton is a recent college graduate from the Universsity of Central Florida. He majored in english and has been involved with several health and fitness clubs including the sports medicine team.


One of the most glaring errors in healthcare in my country and perhaps the world is the lack of attention to the concept of prevention.” Prevention is better than cure” has become more like a kindergarten rhyme than a way of life. Humans have nourished their part that denies the possibility of illness until it occurs. Once it occurs we are given to do whatever that is possible to regain what we lost. If we can focus on prevention in our homes, schools, media and at all places, we would be able to reduce pain and suffering and reduce the huge amount of money spent on health care.

Health is not genetic as people think; it is usually your attitude towards your health that determines how healthy you will live. The fact that your grandparents and great grand parents lived above 90 is not a surety that you will live up to 90 due to a possible gene that enables longevity. How long you live is your responsibility, it starts by making the right choices, the right choices in your diet. Chinese medicine teaches that our blood begins at the end of our fork: we are what we eat.

Change the quality of what you eat to a low fat diet. Fat has been severely accused of being responsible for the wave of different cancers ravaging our societies. This can be further proven in cultures where a low fat and a high fiber diet are consumed with decreased incidence of many cancers. Go for the leanest meat cuts you can get, and make fish, turkey and chicken your source of non vegetable protein.

Avoid simple sugars and eat complex carbohydrates, while you increase the fiber in your diet as much as possible. Your mother was not wrong when she insisted that you should eat your vegetables, increase your intake of vegetables and fruits and enjoy their disease prevention abilities. Minimize salt in your diet and stick to healthy food preparation methods.

Finally, just as Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D, wrote, “eat at least one meal a day for your immune system”.

This frank advice from the Nutritionist is based on medical reports and on the Nutritionist’s personal observations.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


This morning, a client asked me to proffer a dietary solution for her uterine fibroid condition, perhaps a non-surgical solution. Her doctor had recommended surgery for the 7cm fibroid tumor, but she is scared and thinks that surgical intervention is not her portion. (Nigerians always say that, maybe some).
My response to her was not totally discouraging judging by the look on her face.  I did not offer any non-surgical solution but rather encouraged her to consider her doctor’s opinion not without letting her know how a change in diet can help her to treat her symptoms and also to improve the fibroid condition in the form of shrinking it or reducing the size of the fibroid.
What Are These Diet Changes?
1. Increasing the intake of soy products and flaxseeds.
Both contain phytoestrogens which help to properly regulate the body’s estrogen production.
It is common knowledge that estrogen fuels fibroid growth, so why recommend soy products? Soy is rich in natural estrogens that are much weaker than synthetic estrogens; they bind to the estrogen receptors on the fibroid tumors, thereby preventing the estrogen naturally found in your body from attaching itself to the receptors. So consuming soy prevents the bodily form of estrogen from fueling the growth of the tumors. So select natural soy foods rather than the genetically modified ones or even the supplements. You can take soy milk in place of whole or low fat milks.
2. In addition to soy products, eating plenty of high fiber foods.
This keeps constipation away. Constipation increases fibroid symptoms and can worsen pain and pressure. Foods rich in fiber include, whole grains like cereals, oats, millet. Green leafy vegetables like spinach etc.
*** Fiber can also help in removing excess estrogens from the body.
3. Eating omega 3 fatty acid rich foods like salmon, mackerel, tuna etc. They can help to reduce inflammation and fibroid growth.
4. Iron rich foods come in very handy for women who suffer prolonged or heavy periods due to fibroids. This helps them to ward off anemia.
5. Eating more vitamin k rich foods to encourage blood clotting and help reduce excessive menstrual flow. Leafy green vegetables like lettuce, spinach, celery, okra, cabbage, and fruits like cucumber, kiwi, avocado and plum are rich sources.
6. Avoiding or cutting back on foods that contain non plant source estrogen. Such foods include red meat, dairy and eggs. Also avoid refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar.
7. Increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep estrogen levels at an all-time low. Plant based diet create a more alkaline body and thwarts fibroid growth. In other words, when the body is acidic, fibroid growth is enhanced.
8. Detoxifying foods and pears (rich in phytonutrient) to reduce/shrink fibroid tumors.
Diet changes are to be made not only in the face of a challenging health concern. What diet change have you made recently and what prompted you to make the change?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thank You!

Thank you to all who voted.

                 I share this award with fellow nominees in this category, Adura, Eights and Weights, Fastest Way To Lose Belly Fat, and Stand up to cancer Naija.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


If you have suffered a migraine before or experiences occasional migraine episodes, this post will be very helpful to you.

In a business meeting, a man rejected a cup of coffee because according to him, coffee gives him headaches. The man next to him called him coy, and just local. The story indeed made me laugh and I wondered if being a coffee drinker is a sign of confidence.

THE TRUTH is that the non-coffee drinker has discovered what works best for him and probably understands the effects that the things he eat or drink have on his health. When it comes to migraine and other headaches, there are two types of diets-
1.     The headache trigger foods- that can start the migraine reaction, and
2.     The headache fighting foods- that put the body in optimal migraine fighting shape, and can either relieve migraine or help you cope.
Some headache trigger foods include
  • alcohol (even red wine)
  • caffeine
  • chocolates
  • nuts (especially peanuts)
  • yeast (especially in breads and other foods and drinks)
  • some flavorings (like vanilla may contain alcohol)
  • all alcoholic and fermented beverages
  • all foods with tyramine ( all fermented, salted or pickled foods like aged cheese, fermented soy products like soy sauce and all nuts.)
  • foods with tannins ( tea, red wine, chocolate, vanilla, black wallnuts and most herbal products.)
*NOTE. Different people have different triggers; it is therefore very important for you to understand what triggers your migraine and eliminate or cut down on them.

Headache fighting foods. In the world of diet cures for headaches/migraines, the best advice is simply to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty fresh, non-processed foods. That includes a variety of grains, fruits and vegetables. Here are some specific foods that are believed to be useful in cutting down the migraine pains.
What about fasting and skipping meals?
Yes they are surefire triggers for many people, possibly because of dropping blood sugar levels. Try to eat small amounts of meals throughout the day and avoid skipping meals. Remember that fresh is best- eat it fresh and cut down on processed foods. Avoid making sudden drastic changes in your diet, whatever change you want to make, ease into it and eat a well-balanced diet.

****Am pleased to let you know that Nutritionalert has been nominated for two categories(Best Fitness or Health Blog and Most Educational Blog ) in the ongoing Nigerian Blog Awards. Visit HERE and vote for Nutritionalert.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I listened to a wannabe comedian describe menopause as a state in a woman’s life when all activities with the opposite sex ceases due to the changes that occurs in the woman. He depicted a state of misery which every woman should dread.
Did anyone tell him that there is andropause for men? It can only get better during menopause, with the menstrual cycle gone, no PMS’s, no cramps, no sanitary towels and tampons here and there. (My thoughts while others cracked their ribs at the silly joke). Ok! Am not premenopausal, menopausal or even post-menopausal. Lucky to still be in the better side of 35, but that does not in any way mean that I do not look forward to my menopausal years.
Let’s talk Nutrition!
On a healthy diet, every woman can go through menopause, deal with all the hot flashes, vaginal dryness and other symptoms, stay attractive and have fun with her partner. If you are around, within or past menopause, here are some diet tips for you.
  1. Deal with osteoporosis which is one of the health issues women face during and after menopause with a calcium rich diet like the non fat or skim milk, okra and leafy greens. Do not forget to up your vitamin D intake too because it is very essential for transporting calcium into the bones. You can take vitamin D fortified food and other foods like cod liver, sardines, mackerel and eggs. Do not forget the best source of vitamin D- sunlight. A 10 minute exposure daily will be good for you. Have you checked your vitamin D level recently?
  2. Do not let weight gain rid you of pleasure during this period. Maintain a diet comprising of complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits.
  3. Deal with hot flashes and balance your estrogen levels by eating soy bean and flaxseed. (Flaxseed is rare in Nigeria, but the supplements are available).
  4. Eat bioflavonoid rich foods like oranges, grapefruits, tangerines etc, to successfully get relieve from night time leg cramps and bruises which usually occur during menopause.
  5. Do not let your vagina stay dry; reduce the dryness by eating foods that are high in vitamin A and beta-carotene. They will strengthen your mucous membranes and keep the grove on!
  6. Eat avocados and let the oils offer you its rich nourishment. You will love your skin.
  7. Don’t forget vitamin C rich foods, they are loaded with antioxidants that can help reduce degenerative diseases and inflammations, and slow down the aging process.
  8. Pears, raisins, honey, peas, beans are rich in boron, eat them and reduce loss of minerals from your bones (osteoporosis), prevent muscle and joints aches and maintain a healthy hair and skin.
  9. Make menopause fun!
***Menopause is not Men O Pause, this guy need to work on his jokes. What is your take on this?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Do you think that Nutritionalert deserves an award?


  • Best Fitness or Health Blog
  •  Most Educational Blog
  •  Nigerian Blog of the Year
  •  Most Unique Voice in a Blog
  • Your choice nomination
                                  Your vote will definitely count.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Are You Weakening Your Immune System?

Ask anyone leaving in a malaria endemic region, he or she will tell you that it is not an easy task. For my new friend Ayo (not his real name), sleeping under treated mosquito nets is less fun because the length of his bed can not accommodate his towering height.  Most nights he had to keep vigil on the mosquitoes, killing them with his high priced insect swat, his bare hands or whatever that could help him do the job. Despite his night time wars against the mosquitoes, he constantly went down with malaria which was most of the times accompanied by flu. 

Recently, my new friend testified that the frequency of his malaria bouts reduced when he made some changes in his diet. He did not develop an anti-malaria diet; neither did the mosquitoes become extinct. He realized the weakening effect of his diet and lifestyle on his immune system.

An army of millions of microscopic soldiers operates within every one of us, each one ready to jump into battle against invading parasites and to carry out the duty of protecting us against diseases. How we feed these soldiers has a great influence on how well they protect us from diseases. On a poor diet, the immune system can not perform at its peak. Certain foods can keep the immune system army from doing a good job. Watch out!

The Offenders  

Too much sugar. Overdosing on sugar can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs. This includes table sugars and those in carbonated drinks and simple carbohydrates. In contrast, complex carbohydrates do not suppress or have a weakening effect on the immune system. Remember this tip the next time you grab a can of soft drink.

Too much fat. We already know that eating too much fat can lead to obesity which on its own can lead to a depressed and lazy immune system. This is another reason to lose weight if you are already overweight.

Too much alcohol. Excessive alcohol intake does not only lead to nutritional deficiency, it deprives the body of valuable immune-boosting nutrients. Just like sugar, it can reduce the ability of the white cells to multiply, fight or kill germs.

Finally, what foods are you allergic to? Your immune army recognizes these otherwise harmless foods as a forein invader and attacks it. This is the reason for allergic reactions. Several encounters with food allergens can cause the walls of the intestine to damage, thereby making it easy for other toxic substances to get into the blood stream. This can lead to illness.

Our immune systems are constantly working to protect us, let’s pay them back with a boost. See how to.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BLAME MY MOMMIE. Utterance of an obese 12year old

This morning, a 12year old boy told me to blame his mom for his weight problem. Having to wear clothes that are almost the same size with his father’s was the breaking point for his mother who brought him to our weight management clinic. He blamed his mother for always making him finish everything on his plate and rewarding him with chocolates.  According to him, his nick name –Biggy originated from his mum, and for him to keep up with the name he would just eat and eat to stay big. 

Poor woman, I could tell the pain in her tears while her massive son talked. Who wouldn’t say that she is a good mother and that she loves her child? The pediatrician had examined him and told her that the reason for her son’s weight problem was lifestyle and poor dietary habit. There is hope for this massive talking 12 year old, but can some one tell him to shut up so that mummy can hold back the tears? (I thought)

OK. I know that there are many parents who are doing the same things that this mother is being blamed for. Perhaps your own child is not obese yet or may never be, here is my candid advice.
 1.      Avoid using food as a reward. Chocolates, candies, ice cream and some pastries are usually used to reward children. They basically become more desirable than other foods 

2.      Encourage your child to eat breakfast regularly. Studies show that breakfast eaters tend to be slimmer than people who skip breakfast. 

3.      Do not force your child to eat everything on his or her plate. Remember, tinny tummies hold little food. It is better to give them little meals at regular intervals. 

4.      Get your children involved in meal preparation. Allow them to join you in preparing healthy meals, they are more likely to eat something they made or participated in making. 

5.      Children do not focus on health as a priority, talk to your child about the benefits of eating well and taking care of their bodies. 

6.      Model the right behaviour. Do not expect your child to eat vegetables when you don’t. If your child is gaining too much weight, it is unlikely that the rest of the family is having a healthy diet. Take a look at what the whole family is eating and encourage a healthy balanced diet for everyone. This means
-         Eating breakfast regularly
-         Eating fewer fatty foods such as French fries and other fried foods
-         Cutting down on sweets, cakes and other carbonated drinks
-         Eating more fruits and vegetables
-         Selecting wholegrain varieties often.  

7.   Finally, remember that sometimes to say No to your child is a show of love. 

Having any challenge in your child’s nutrition? 

What else can parents do to help an obese child?

Please share in the comment area below.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Last night, my four year old son asked me to help him become 10years old. Having closed his eyes for about 2 minutes imagining that he was 10years old and hoping to rise up as a 1o year old by the time he opened his eyes. 

Very funny, I thought. I know many including me, who will rather imagine that they look as young as 30 or maybe 25 by the time they are 60years. While I pity the young man because he got disappointed at the end of the day, I saw hope for anyone whose imagination is contrary to the boy's own.

Aging can be described as a natural process that everyone must go through. It is what happens to our bodies’ overtime. It starts from the day we were born and continues until when we die. However, its ugly effects are only felt when we start hitting middle age. No one would love to see damaged skin complexions or visible lines on their faces, and many would do anything possible to halt aging or at least the unsightly effects of aging. The aging process may vary in individuals, some may age faster then others due to some factors, but the end result is, everyone will surely get to it some day.

Some may say that maintaining a constant supply of the magical Human Growth hormones (HGH) will mean enjoying a youthful life forever. Thank you Mr. Science, but how many can afford to submit themselves to an HGH replacement Therapy continuously, is it not pricey? What about side effects, are there none? While I wait for someone to lecture me on the HGH Replacement therapy, here is your antidote to aging.

They may actually represent a modern- day source of youthfulness, reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease, strokes, cataracts and the ultimate- slow the aging process. They protect important cell components by neutralizing the free radicals. The antidote is called ANTIOXIDANT. Eating a diet rich in antioxidant vitamins may be the best way to improving your health and slowing down the aging process. Include antioxidant rich foods in your diet. Here are some examples.

1. Fruits
Citrus fruit and juices (oranges, grapefruits), Berries (strawberries, blackberry, blueberry etc),  carrots, kiwi, pineapple.

2. Vegetables
Raw cabbage, spinach, chili pepper, green peppers, tomatoes ginger, parsley, broccoli etc.

3. Dried fruits
Dates, prunes, apricots.

4. Cereals
Barley, millet, oats, corn.

4. Nuts and seeds
Hazel nuts, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, sunflower seeds.

5. Others
Egg yolk, liver, red beans, pinto beans

Finally, this is another reason to drink green tea.